255 of 304 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2010
Going to get the strong points out of the way first. Graphics and music. As far as I can tell, that's about it. The cut scenes and story are nice, but they make up such a tiny fraction of the game they're barely worth mentioning.
As for the bad... it's pretty much every thing else.
UI/controls - This has been beaten to death, but I want to hit it one more time. Quite simply the worst UI for any PC game in the past decade. UO and EQ1 were leaps and bounds ahead of FFXIV in terms of the interface. There is no drag/drop, clicking rarely does anything, limited keymapping, and everything is buried behind several menus.
Combat - Sluggish and consists 90%+ of hitting 1111111. Threat is extremely broken in groups, ie you can get aggro for casting 1 spell even if you don't jump in until the mob is half dead. There aren't any special mobs or mechanics to deal with. You just stand there punching each other in the face until somebody dies. It's like Rockem Sockem robots online. Although the music kinda works against the combat because you're rocking out to a pretty hardcore battle theme while fighting tiny rodents and insects well into your 30's.
The world - The cities are actually really well done, albeit inconvenient. Once you get outside though you find a barren, empty world. There are essentially some random mobs thrown around and aetherite camps where you can activate guild leves. The few actual buildings and settlements are not functioning. They have NPC's who don't do anything and all the doors are locked. There aren't any really dungeons, unless you count being underground as in a dungeon. It's just the same mobs as everywhere else but now underground.
Economy - Sweet zombie jesus, this is quite possibly the biggest game breaker. The entire game is centered around the crafts based economy. Problem is there is no way to find what you're looking for except running around spamming or searching every retainer in the game one by one. The lack of a search function and mail system are killers. Weapon repairs are also a huge hassle. I've taken to buying multiple of the same weapon because you can only fight for about 2 hours before you have to go back to town and find a crafter to repair your weapon or pay astronomical fees to NPC's later in teh game.
Content - Content? Simply not there. The closest you'll come are guild leves which are essentially bare bones "Kill 6 of these things" dailies on a 36 hour timer. The story is interesting but you can only do the one for your city state and SE stated that you can't do the other 2 without creating a new character which would require an insane amount of time. Just watch it on YouTube. To compound the story problem the missions are relatively short, requiring you to do little more than run from cut scene to cut scene. There are no epic battles and all the mission mobs are tuned to be killed by crafters whos only take is Throw Rock which deals 1 damage.
Overall - It's no where near ready. Having played other MMO's in their beta phases I would have guessed that this game is still in alpha. Maybe in half a year to a year it may be fun but right now it is simply an exercise in frustration and what looks to be the longest grind to nothing since Lineage.
162 of 195 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2010
I wanted to like this game, but I just can't do it. I've heard some people try to defend the game by saying that it's challenging or that it has a steep learning curve, but so far it's been easy. It's just been frustratingly slow and tedious.
Horribly slow. Painfully convoluted. Everything is menu based. You'll have to wade through lists to do anything. Unfortunately, every new menu that appears takes a few seconds to appear. When you've made your selection, be prepared to reconfirm your choice up to 3 times, and wait again for your selection to take effect. Waiting seems to be the theme of the game.
Change equipment? Wait a few seconds. Also, be prepared to wade through your entire inventory, rather than just the items available for the particular slot you're changing.
Activate combat mode? Wait a few seconds.
Attack an enemy? Wait a few seconds.
Initiate a trade with a vendor? Wait a few seconds. Choose buy or sell? Wait a few seconds.
Want to walk through a door? Wait a few seconds.
Want to store some of your items on your retainer? Wait a few seconds for each item, after you've waited the few seconds for each of the several choices leading up to summoning your retainer.
Oh, how I wish I could jump. Or that I wouldn't stop for half a second every time my character comes in contact with another. Or that npc's were processed separately from players so that I could actually talk to the npc I need without waiting tens of seconds for it to load in under the crushing server lag.
Tradeskills are largely similar to each other. Gathering skills are largely similar to each other. They're all very slow, and feature enough randomness to make them very frustrating.
Battle is a bit more fun, but there's nothing really special about it. It's a bit slow and I wish the camera wouldn't automatically swing behind my character when I start combat. Combat in other MMO's I've played feels more dynamic, mostly due to the interface lag present in this one.
I could probably go on, maybe I'll insert some positive?
It's pretty. There is an issue with repeated graphical elements in the environments.
The enemy designs are fantastic. There are many adorable creatures wandering the environments, though not much variety to them in the initial zones.
The animation is very well done for the most part.
I regret spending my money on this game.
57 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2010
I was looking forward to this game and really tried to enjoy playing. I had assumed that they would build on the success of FFXI. Unfortunately they decided to ignore everything learned about making a successful mmo in the last decade and reinvent the wheel (and failed in almost every way).
Everything about this game is slow and overly complicated. You need to wade through multiple menus to choose any option, multiple confirmation windows to perform any action. There is no auction house, no mail system, very little storyline and questing content, poor chat interface. The UI is very laggy - everything takes two or three times longer to do that it should.
Overall the game just lacks in fun. For example, the gathering profession minigame is this: click to chop down the tree you found, click to confirm that you want to chop the tree down, click to swing your axe, click to confirm that you want to swing your axe, wait 5 seconds to see whether you miss or get loot, then repeat all over again. One might assume a minigame is supposed to be fun and a game, but it's not either of those.
Fighting monsters isn't much better. Half of the character classes are limited to throwing rocks at the enemy. The other half have decent combat moves, but it's nothing spectacular. Targeting mobs is difficult, and you are locked onto the mob you are fighting so good luck if you need to reposition or are being attacked by multiple mobs.
Because of the scarcity of questing content or mobs to grind, you are pushed to level through crafting. Unfortunately, there is no recipe list in the game to determine what you can craft or the materials needed. The recipes are also overly complicated, often needing materials from several other professions (a shirt made by a weaver requires straps from a leatherworker, buckles from an armorsmith, and dye from an alchemist). When you add in the fact that there is no organized method of selling or buying items from other players, trying to make anything is a labor in frustration.
Hopefully this game will get better in time, but I'm not going to keep paying a monthly subscription in the hopes that it does.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2010
<-- Graphics -->
The visuals in the game are simply stunning. I've never seen more realistic waterfalls or lightning effects than in this game. Standing on the shore, waves will roll in and darken the sand, which then lightens again once the water recedes. Caves seem infinitely dark until you step inside and your eyes adjust, and likewise, the view outside is overexposed and blinding until you do the same. Square's visual staff produces some simply amazing stuff, and the attention to even the smallest of details adds to the realism of the world. Granted, some might consider the hardware requirements a bit steep to elicit all of this wonderful imagery, but you can't deny, it's a damn pretty game.
<-- Environment -->
While the cities are fine, the outside environment leaves much to be desired. The game right now consists, literally, of three zones, each reminiscent of a primary zone in FFXI, and generally with some elements of other zones thrown in. Unfortunately, while very realistic and well done, the landscapes are devoid of anything... interesting. Very realistic, and very generic, landscapes are what await you.
<-- Sound -->
The sound, both music and effects, are what you'd expect from Square-Enix. Very well done.
<-- Combat -->
Combat classes in this game are defined by the weapon you equip, which sounds very strange at first, but makes more sense once you discover that "classes" are arbitrary, and only serve to indicate your level of mastery at whatever skill your main hand item uses. Combat is basically the same as it was in FFXI, with some minor adjustments. Your auto-attacks now aren't, and all of your skills use stamina, which builds up automatically during combat. TP generation (by basic attacks) is much faster, and weapon skills are a much more common element of battle. The game also has a system similar to skillchains, which might see more use if party play was necessary or even encouraged.
<-- Gathering -->
There are three gathering classes, Fisherman, Botanist, and Miner. All three employ the same mini-game (with some minor differences, mostly in terminology) which decides whether or not you've gathered successfully. Once you figure the mechanics out, it's fairly easy to keep yourself from failing repeatedly, and the learning curve is short. However, it doesn't do anything to relieve the tedium of gathering. You may welcome the gathering mini-game as a device to help you stay awake while doing it, or you may view it as just one more unnecessary task to perform in the process.
<-- Crafting -->
Crafting is necessary in this game, for equipment, and for repairs. The system itself is an irritating time sink. While there are different crafting "methods" that you can use during the process, it seems to have little to no effect on the outcome of the craft, except where it relates to the assessment of your guildleve work. Most of the time, unless you're well above your craft (by ten or more levels, at least) you will be using the standard method, which will involve sitting there and pressing the "enter" key eight or ten times while you wait for the game to decide whether you won the dice roll or not.
There are many crafting "skills" which, while not required by a particular craft, may be "recommended" for it. You can only acquire these skills through the trading of guild points, and you will suffer a rather severe penalty to the craft without them.
Repairs are one particular element of the game that I found irritating in the extreme. Even though I have friends who play who could effect repairs for me on items they made (and likewise for myself, on items made for them) we found several instances of items crafted that could not be repaired by the crafter, due to a lack of skill. Add to that the fact that we tend to be in numerous different areas, and it makes the whole thing rather inconvenient.
It wouldn't be so inconvenient if performing any sort of activity didn't reduce the durability of your items so quickly, but the biggest culprit here is your underwear, and an hour of intense play will require you to stop, swap it out for a second set that you keep on hand for this purpose only (you can't simply unequip your drawers, no going commando here) to repair. There are repair NPCs that can repair you enough to keep you going (to 75%, you suffer reduced effect at 50%) but on higher-level crafted items, the price is amazingly high for this service. When gathering, be advised to unequip anything that's expensive or not easily repaired.
<-- Economy -->
The economy directly pulls the bazaar system from FFXI. Additionally, in lieu of a mog house or bank system, you're provided with a retainer that can hold as many items as you can, and you're permitted to set this retainer up in a city's market ward, where you can basically bazaar from the NPC. There is no auction house in the game. While I can understand the reasoning behind the lack of it (camping and price-gouging issues), those reasons simply aren't good enough. Nobody wants to spend, quite literally, hours hunting through hundreds of bazaars hoping to ~maybe~ find the item they're looking for (and personally, I adamantly refuse). The abundance of bazaars makes loading agonizingly slow in both areas of town where they're prevalent, and in the market wards.
Bazaars are great for making casual sales. In FFXI, I would check people in the field or at random in towns to see if they had anything I could use, but when looking for something specific that you need, an easily searchable system, like an auction house, is quite simply required. The game's economy is utterly broken, and will remain broken, until this feature is added.
Also, there is no system in place for mail, at all. This feature's exclusion is a huge failure.
<-- Storyline and Questing -->
The storyline, what little exists of it, seems completely disconnected from the rest of the game, and as of yet, the primary storyline is the only quest line that exists in the game. Repeatable guildleves aren't quests so much as a means by which to obtain guild points, and are reset every thirty-six hours on the server's schedule.
Ultimately, this leads to a sense of pointlessness. Without any kind of purpose, you roam the landscape, killing birds, rats, and various other forms of wildlife, improving your combat skills for no particular reason other than raising a number.
<-- Other Thoughts -->
In addition to the oddity of not being able to repair an item that you can craft, there are an unusual number of low-level crafts that require high-level items. So far, ~none~ of the foods I've eaten seem to have any noticeable effect, leading me to wonder if they even HAVE effects yet, or if the developers decided to save that for later. Additionally, there are areas in the game where there are obviously supposed to be guild shops (with guild signs outside of buildings), but no shop exists to enter.
Those along with numerous other factors, leave me with the final impression that the game is simply incomplete, like they needed another month or six to flesh it out before release. I honestly feel like I'm paying to beta test. While it has a lot of nice features, and a lot of potential, and I really, really, really want to like it, I just can't recommend this game to anyone at this point.
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2010
I cannot stress how bad this game really is. But, let's start on a positive note. One the plus side, it is beautiful. But, that is its only plus.
What is wrong?...where do I start.
1. Subscribing. Who created this idiotic system. I pay $10 to play and it doesn't even get me a character slot, it just lets me log on, so that I have to pay another $3 for a character slot. Thats if you can navigate through and figure out how to add options to our account. Don't even get me started about the $3 charge to use a credit card.
2. Starting. The movie to start the game is great. Then well....that is a good question. Since there is absolutely no tutorial. No one tells you how to fight, where to go, or what to do. You just have to wander around and well die lots of times until you figure it out. Has anyone ever heard of an MMO that tells you nothing about what to do or how to play? Well grats, now you have. A steep learning curve - as in straight up a mountain.
3. The controls. Let's see. Click menus to do everything. Having to verify every choice on the click menu. A lag before every choice. A lag when you enter combat, a lag when you attack, a lag before NPCs and people appear around you. A boringly slow combat system. (That is never really explained). Am I playing a console game or a PC game? I would swear I bought the PC version.
4. Everything else. A crafting system that is tediously slow a best, never explained, expensive. No real auction system. An experience leveling lockdown to prevent any timely leveling. If you are logged off you fail the timed quests. A quest system which is time and instanced.
Listen, some reviews are saying wait for a while to see if things get better. Square Enix is saying give them time to let the community grow before putting out reviews. But trust me. Little of this is fixable unless they completely scrap much of it and start over. Do you see them doing that? No, neither do I. The worst $50 I ever spent and I have wasted $50 before...